Backblaze Review 1 of 10
Review: "Backblaze is an affordable and powerful cloud backup provider"
Aaron Pinsker profile photo
January 07, 2019

Review: "Backblaze is an affordable and powerful cloud backup provider"

Score 9 out of 101
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Overall Satisfaction with Backblaze

Backblaze is used to backup individual and mission-critical computers to the cloud. Backblaze is primarily used to backup file servers and accounting computers that contain Quickbooks. The main problem Backblaze addresses is off-site backups in the event of a catastrophic incident on site (fire, theft, etc.) that would affect local backups.
  • Backblaze utilizes a native app across platforms vs. a javascript app you find with other backup services (CrashPlan being one of them). Native apps function better and have a better user interface than comparable javascript apps.
  • Backblaze has an intuitive interface that automatically backs everything up from your computer but allows you to easily exclude items you don't want or need to backup (applications, system files, etc.).
  • Backblaze has a built-in bandwidth cap and monitor allowing you to limit how much data is backed up on a daily basis to prevent going over ISP data caps or utilizing all of your upload bandwidth.
  • The main downside of Backblaze is that it only keeps deleted items for 30 days. In other words, if you delete an item off of your computer, it will stay in your Backblaze archive for 30 days before it is removed from the archive. In general practice, this isn't an issue, but there are times being able to go back further in time can be very useful - a feature that CrashPlan has (keeps ALL backed up files indefinitely).
  • While the user interface is easy to use, it is limited in comparison to other solutions. In particular, CrashPlan provides more control over how many resources the computer should use to back up - both while a user is present and while a user is away. Backblaze only allows for bandwidth throttling.
  • Backblaze does not offer a seeded backup - wherein if you have a large number of files to backup, you can send Backblaze a hard drive with those files to initially seed the backup so not all files will have to be uploaded prior to being backed up.
  • Backblaze cannot back up network shares - though this is by design. Network devices such as Synology NAS servers must utilize Backblaze's B2 service which can end up being very expensive.
  • Online backups provide greater peace of mind more than anything else. While local backups are adequate, an offsite backup is an absolute necessity for mission-critical files. It is difficult to put a price on this, but Backblaze's $50/year/computer is certainly a good one.
  • From a purely monetary standpoint, having a rotating offsite back up using external hard drives would be cheaper in the long run - but far more cumbersome and potentially less effective if backups are not rotated on a regular basis.
  • Because Backblaze does not allow for the backup of network shares, competitors that may be more expensive per computer may actually be less expensive in the long run. For example, CrashPlan, at $10/month/computer is $70 more expensive/year than Backblaze - but a central NAS server can be set to backup multiple computers, and the NAS server can have a network share attached to a dedicated desktop that can be backed up. In other words, CrashPlan can be utilized to backup multiple computers via a single computer - and thus can be significantly less expensive is certain scenarios.
In general, Backblaze stacks up quite well when compared to CrashPlan. The native desktop app, easier to use interface, and lower yearly costs make Backblaze a far more ideal cloud backup system for home users vs. CrashPlan (which has eliminated their consumer backup option). For businesses, CrashPlan offers some compelling features (keeping backup archive indefinitely, ability to backup network shares) that make it a more viable option, even though it is significantly more expensive.
Backblaze's "set it and forget it' interface is ideal for home users. In addition, the $50/year pricing is very competitive. Most business should find Backblaze as a very good backup solution, but in cases where a backup archive needs to be kept indefinitely, alternative solutions should be looked at (specifically CrashPlan - though it is significantly more expensive at $10/month).